Coming to God in the Age of Reason
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
8M ago
  Up until recently, I had no need for God. Certainly not the apocryphal modernized conception I was exposed to in my youth. I considered a belief in God to be small minded. That's why I rejected organized religion altogether and became interested in eastern ideas of spiritual inquiry where the relationship between self and beyond is questioned, and sometimes blurred. Within yoga philosophy, there is a wide spectrum of viewpoints that encompass a full range of beliefs from atheistic to theistic. For many like myself, the threads of yoga that resonated most were predicated on a somewhere ..read more
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Yoga Training Teacher Revival
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
1y ago
  How many people do you know who have completed a 200, 300, 500, or 800 hour yoga teacher or yoga therapist training program? My bet is more than a few. How many of those people are making a living solely through the work they do as a yoga teacher or yoga therapist? My bet is almost none. And yet, the premier offering of any respected teacher today tends to be a certificate training program. So what does this tell us? Either that both teachers and students have become complicit in exploiting the myth that certification is a first step towards career or that there are other, perhaps bet ..read more
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The Reenchantment of Yoga
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
2y ago
  In the more than decade-long history of this blog, I have never experienced more blocks in my writing practice than I have in the last year. Inspiration has been in short supply. I question whether this meditation on words that once provoked fruitful inquiry in me and its readers has lost its relevance. The reason I started this was so I could say whatever I wanted about yoga without censor and, frankly, I am frightened by how inhibited I feel to stay true to that. This coincides with what seems to me a crucial fork in the road for the future of yoga in western culture. Will the wisdom ..read more
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For the Love of All
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
2y ago
  There are moments when the maelstrom becomes transparent enough for me to see through the tragedy, hypocrisy, and injustice. In the quietude beyond the burning horizon, there is a circle of people gathered around a fire, chanting to the moon. As I approach, the circle opens to embrace me and I am enveloped into an ancient song of communal heart wisdom. Tears of relief and joy cleanse my soul and I call out with all my being in the name of love. As the vision fades, I wiggle my fingers and toes, hug my knees into my chest, roll to my side, and sit up to finish with a bow. The contrast b ..read more
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Vaccine Confidence May Just Be Wishful Thinking
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
3y ago
  Up until a few days ago, I was one of the dreaded "hesitant." Most of the people I know in the staunchly blue county I live in are already fully vaccinated and I had been going back and forth for weeks. When I mentioned my hesitancy to some fellow parents, it was clear that we could not talk about it. Anything other than "hooray for the vaccine" was immediately met with surprise and judgement because they all read the NY Times and I don't fit the profile. I have never voted for a Republican in my life. I believe the pandemic is real. And I definitely care about vulnerable people. So w ..read more
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Dawn of the Post-Pandimic Yoga Teacher
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
3y ago
  Even before the pandemic, there was always a strained relationship between yoga teachers and yoga center owners over the loyalty of students and the distribution of profits. As the culture of yoga centers evolved from church basements with cigar boxes full of cash to multiplex spa environments with online recurring memberships, yoga centers were forced to adopt more exploitative policies to survive, and the distance between teachers and students steadily increased. The lockdown-fueled rush to move classes online has upended long codified dynamics and inadvertently leveled the playing f ..read more
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Love Letter to Yoga Land
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
3y ago
  Hello Yoga Land. It’s me, J. You know, that guy who has been taking pot shots at you all these years with his punk-ass blog writing and podcasting. Well, I feel like I owe you an apology. Now that you are in tatters, I can see that in my zeal to challenge you, I took so much for granted. What I would give to have you back again, even with all of your flaws. It wasn’t your fault. You were just doing what you knew how to do, often with the best of intentions. You provided for me and I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. In my disenchantment over the injustice of our societies ..read more
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Love Letter to Yoga Land
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
3y ago
  Hello Yoga Land. It’s me, J. You know, that guy who has been taking pot shots at you all these years with his punk-ass blog writing and podcasting. Well, I feel like I owe you an apology. Now that you are in tatters, I can see that in my zeal to challenge you, I took so much for granted. What I would give to have you back again, even with all of your flaws. It wasn’t your fault. You were just doing what you knew how to do, often with the best of intentions. You provided for me and I didn’t appreciate it as much as I should have. In my disenchantment over the injustice of our societies ..read more
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Performance, Art and Ritual of Yoga
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
3y ago
  Despite the term generally being considered derogatory, all yoga practice and teaching is “performative.” The fundamental nature of yogic learning requires the performance of some act of mind, posture, word or deed. There is nothing inherently superficial or disingenuous about a performance. In fact, it is precisely the performance element that invites access to the liminal space most conducive to discovery and creation. In our current culture, distorted by mainstream tv and social media algorithms, we have become conditioned to appreciate only that which is easily digestible to the p ..read more
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Yoga Was Never Really Mainstream
J. Brown Yoga Blog
by J. Brown
3y ago
  I have long touted a narrative of yoga going from underground to mainstream but, now that the pandemic has brought the industry to its knees, it’s clear that the legitimization of the profession was always in appearance only. Despite the hype of Instagram glorification, and corporations successfully capitalizing on yoga’s increased popularity, the revolutionary underpinnings of yogic revelation require true teachers to remain in the margins. The upside is that, as the illusion fades, yoga is better positioned to reclaim its rightful place as a tool for radical interpersonal change. Ha ..read more
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